© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage from an old border customs and excise hut is seen in the border village of Glenfarne

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union wants a customs border in the Irish Sea, between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a letter from Theresa May seen by the London Times newspaper suggested.

According to the Times, May wrote to the leaders of the small Northern Irish political party she relies on to govern, saying that the EU is still pushing for a so-called “backstop to the backstop” which would keep the province in regulatory alignment with the Republic of Ireland to avoid a hard border.

In the letter May said she would never allow a divide between the province and Britain “to come into force”. The Times said this had been interpreted by the Democratic Unionist Party as a sign that the clause will be inserted into the legally binding agreement.

Arlene Foster, the head of the DUP, said May’s letter “raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious Union and for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole of the UK”.

May has been battling to agree a divorce deal with the EU that can gain support in Brussels, within her own deeply divided party and with the DUP who do not want Northern Ireland to be treated differently to the rest of the UK.

A spokesman for May’s Downing Street office said the letter set out the prime minister’s commitment to never accepting a situation where the UK is divided into two customs territories.

READ  Take Five: 'Pervasive uncertainty' - World markets themes for the week ahead

“The government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland,” he added.

(The story was refiled to fix typos in the headline and first paragraph)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here